The Massachusetts Senate is debating a welfare reform plan that seeks to move more people off public benefits and into jobs, while reducing fraud and abuse in the system.

The bill would require recipients to look for work before applying for welfare. Lying about a job search could result in perjury charges. If they can’t find a job on their own, the Department of Transitional Assistance, the state welfare agency, would help them look.

Democratic Sen. Michael Barrett of Lexington, who is a chief architect of the bill, says this provision is common sense.

“If I have to apply for welfare, I should walk in the door, and someone should say to me, 'I'm going to help you look for a job,'" Barrett said. "We've got some job postings. We've got some job strategies to discuss, we've got some additional coaching perhaps you need."

If welfare recipients still have no luck finding a job, a new state program run by the nonprofit Commonwealth Corp. would provide job training and education, and try to link recipients with full time work.

The bill also aims to reduce fraud and abuse in the welfare system by putting photo IDs on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.

Senators also added a number of anti-fraud amendments during debate on the bill. One amendment would give the DTA access to the Registry of Motor Vehicles' facial recognition software to help the agency detect fraud. Another amendment would require the DTA to run a fraud risk assessment program to identify recipients most likely to abuse their benefits.

The bill would cost about $40 million, with $22 million in new spending.